social media

The Social Media Election What You Can Learn From Candidates

Social media strategists and political advocates for the Obama and Romney campaigns have exceeded their A-game to influence Democratic, Republican and Independent voters, including even the most politically apathetic citizen.

Often, trending topics and conversations are beyond the control of both political parties. Bloggers are even poking fun at Vice President Joe Biden’s acceptance speech, mocking the number of times he said “literally.” Any press is good press, right?

Grow Your Blog

If your blog is in need of some good press, extra online attention and new visitors, grow your social networking platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to help promote your political voice. Social media and networking sites have an unlimited number of hats to wear. For the upcoming election, one hat is to garner support and gain recognition for the incumbent and the Republican candidate. Another is to create two-sided communication and open dialogue among Obama, Romney and voters.

Think about what hats social media should wear for your blog. Do you want to increase your blog’s online visibility? Make important connections? Enhance your carefully crafted brand? If you haven’t already tapped into the social media universe, then it’s time to throw out your typewriter, turn your transistor radio off and start enhancing your blog with social media strategizing. Even the most enthusiastic Twitter followers and savvy Facebook users can re-evaluate their social media methodologies because Internet trends and digital platforms are continually evolving.

Be Socially Present

Actively participating in the social networking universe for blogs is just as essential as being on the Internet for entrepreneurs. Small-business owners are building websites with web-hosting providers, such as Windows VPS, to market their products and services and are using blogs to increase Web presence through Facebook, Twitter and Google+ while promoting content. Maximize social networking sites to their fullest advantage in order to reap the benefits. Recently, Obama connected with voters on the Reddit website with a live “Ask Me Anything” session. Obama answered 10 questions that touched on small-business tax cuts and funding, the “Protecting Internet Freedom” platform discussed during the Republican National Convention (RNC) and financial burdens for recent and future college graduates. Obama and Romney are practically shaking hands with voters through social media. If you’re vacant from a social media outlet, your credibility diminishes.

Follow, Discover, Like, Explore

Obama’s campaign teams can get updates by the hour on how his Republican opponent is attacking just by visiting Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The Obama push can create strategic responses by reading Facebook posts such as:

“President Obama has failed to stop China and has failed American workers. It’s time to stand up to China.”

“The last four years may be the best President Obama can do  but it’s not the best America can do.”

Think about your competitors and how you can improve your own content by checking their social media updates. See how travel bloggers are growing their subscriber base with increasing “Likes” on their Facebook pages. Follow parenting blogs on Twitter to learn about trending topics such as appropriate parent-babysitter relationships and toddler breastfeeding. Like Facebook pages, follow bloggers on Twitter and explore what’s hot on Google+. Think of it as easily accessed research to analyze the competition.

Use Hashtags

The number of political hashtags are infinite. Romney’s campaign purchased #BelieveInAmerica to promote conservative ideals, inspire Republican voters and share support. Twitter describes a #hashtag as a symbol “to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet.” For Twitter users, it’s used to categorize messages and follow trends. A hashtag helps Tweets show up in a search. If you click on #BelieveInAmerica, you’ll be directed to results that display recent tweets marked with that hashtag or keyword. Using a hashtag can increase the visibility of a link to a blog post that you’re highlighting in a Tweet. The Tweet and a link will enter a digital space where similar trending topics reside and users who share your interests.

Rally for Support

Expand your blog by asking for support, starting conversations and giving followers a reason to spread or respond to your content. The Obama Truth Team posted an infographic called “The Choice: Number of Americans who could be denied coverage if they have a pre-existing condition.” Obama is labeled with 0 and Romney is labeled with 89,000,000. The graphic is backed with a post that says “Share this image if you agree: We can’t afford to go back on health care.” The graphic resonates with Obama supporters who struggle to afford health care and consequently, it’s been shared more than 38,200 times. Share your message or invite readers to discuss content by following these tips:

  • Ask followers to share your graphic or link on Google+ if the content touches them personally or emotionally. For a fitness blog: “Sweat every day! Share this link to promote exercise if you’ve ever lost someone to heart disease or diabetes.”
  • Offer a giveaway or a chance to win by Liking a post or commenting. For a local blog: “The first 10 people to comment with their favorite drink will receive a 50 percent-off happy-hour coupon for this restaurant’s grand opening.”

  • Encourage people to re-share and reply to a Tweet by writing snappy and eye-catching content. For a fashion and beauty blog: “Exclusive, About to hit stores, Just in, and Must-have” are buzz words that quickly catch the attention of followers.

Share Photos on Instagram

Instagram is a trending tool that dramatically enhances photos and transforms an ordinary-looking picture into a work of art. Why? To share via Twitter, Pinterest and other social media platforms. Filtering photos is a multimedia strategy for the Obama and Romney campaigns that evokes feelings and attracts attention. From on-the-road campaigning photos to shaking the hands of middle-class American families, election photos enhanced with an image filter add flair, creativity and personalization. A photo of excited college alumni rooting on their team at a football game gives enthusiasm to your sports blog. For an interior-design blog, pictures of your home designs and projects serve as personal examples that help build a closer reader/blogger relationship. Draw in readers with alluring photos through social digital platforms and invite them to actually follow you on Instagram.

Give your readers the opportunity to learn more and create dialogue by frequently updating your Facebook page, tweeting, pinning, posting on LinkedIn and sharing on Google+. And lastly, don’t forget to vote.

By Guest Author – With a diverse career that initiated over a decade ago at iCrossing, a global digital agency that sold for over $325 million in June of 2010 to Hearst Corporation, Andrew Bart has a deep-rooted understanding of innovative Internet marketing solutions. Andrew’s entrepreneurial knowledge of Content Marketing, SEO, Off Page SEO, Social Media, Inbound Marketing, PPC, Lead Generation, Analytics, and Mobile Marketing is pervasively respected by his peers in the Internet industry. To learn more about Andrew, connect with him on LinkedInGoogle+, and Twitter.

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The Social Media Election What You Can Learn From Candidates
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